Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) has been a leading lithium, potassium, nitrates and iodine producer for decades from its brine operations in based in the Atacama Salar in northern Chile. The company also diversified into spodumene lithium production in Western Australia as global demand for lithium-ion batteries began to soar. Lithium is a chemical at the heart of the energy transition and the migration towards battery-powered vehicles. As such, along with nickel and cobalt, it is a key battery metal and subject to increasing ESG scrutiny. SQM is a leader in the sector and has announced goals to reach net zero carbon emissions and to reduce its water usage. Mining Journal spoke with director of external affairs Stefan Debruyne to find out more.